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Mansfield, Charles F., 1828 - 1885, and Family. Collection, 1861 - 1977

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SMHC Collection 0131

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into four sections: Correspondence, Financial Records, Legal Records, and Miscellaneous documents.

Correspondence These documents were compiled between 1861 and 1898. Charles F. Mansfield wrote the majority of the letters while serving in the United States army during the Civil War. The other documents penned between 1877 and 1898 concern a variety topics.

Financial Records This section holds the information on the financial dealings of the Mansfield family between 1872 and 1940. Account books, expense books, and check receipts are included.

Legal Records These documents pertain to the business papers, property taxes, merchandise receipts, and the guardianship papers of Charles Mansfield and include the years 1888 to 1955.

Miscellaneous This section contains a variety of information ranging from address books and vouchers to programs, newspaper clippings, and military and political documents. In addition, this section includes photographs of the Mansfield family along with two photographs of the Mankato Golf Club’s members dated 1919 and 1920 and the organization’s 1933 yearbook.


  • 1861-1977


Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property and libel laws as they apply.

Biographical / Historical

Charles F. Mansfield was born in Mendon, Monroe County, New York on 9 July 1828 to Calvin and Cornelia Mansfield. In 1849, he moved to Sharon, Wisconsin and taught school. Following his stay in Wisconsin, he moved to California then to Oregon and back to New York. He remained in New York until 1854 when he moved to Mankato, Minnesota. Mansfield located a land claim in McPherson Township, Blue Earth County. However, the land claim was voided when the Winnebago Indian Reservation was located upon Mansfield’s claim. Subsequently, he and other settlers filed suit against the government for damages. The claims were upheld and the settlers were compensated when the American Indians were removed.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Mansfield, on 23 May 1861, went to Fort Snelling and enlisted with the First Minnesota Regiment, Company H as a private. Mansfield fought in the battles of Antietam, Malvern Hill, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg and was wounded at the first battle of Bull Run.

Following the war, Mansfield worked with James B. Hubbell and Alpheus F. Hawley as Indian traders on the upper Missouri River. In 1866, he came back to Mankato. After his arrival, he assumed the role of city assessor and for twelve years worked as the deputy collector of internal revenue for the Upper Minnesota Valley District. Besides his professional roles, Mansfield dabbled in real estate investment in the Mankato area. In 1872, Mansfield became one of the incorporators of the Citizens National Bank of Mankato and served on the institution’s board of directors.

Mansfield married Louisa Burchard of Eagle Lake, Minnesota on 27 May 1876. The couple had five children: Charles, John A., Mary Louise, Cornelia J., and Barbara. Charles F. Mansfield died on 30 March 1885 and Louisa died in the 1930s.

The biographical information was obtained from the collection and: Mankato: Its First Fifty Years. Mankato, Minnesota: Free Press Printing Co., 1903. Mankato Review, 31 March 1884.


1.00 Cubic Feet (3 Hollinger Boxes)

Language of Materials



The Charles F. Mansfield and Family collection contains information regarding the family’s activities in the Mankato, Minnesota area. The earliest documents are letters written by Charles F. Mansfield during his service in the Union Army during the Civil War. Besides Mansfield’s correspondence, the collection holds information produced primarily by Charles, Louisa and Cornelia Mansfield. These documents include: legal documents, vouchers, check stubs, property tax and merchandise receipts, newspaper clippings, expense books, and photographs of people and places in the Mankato area. Furthermore, the legal documents concerning the guardianship of Charles, the mentally incompetent son of Charles F. and Louisa, Mansfield are included.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Cornelia Mansfield donated additional items to the collection in February 1977.

Mansfield, Charles F., 1828 – 1885, and Family. Collection, 1861 - 1977.
Karen Thiem processed this collection.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2002-01: The finding aid was revised by Jeff A. Jenson.

Repository Details

Part of the Southern Minnesota Historical Center Repository

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Memorial Library
PO Box 8419
Mankato MN 56002-8419 US